The government is in the process of putting together a multi-billion euro support package for the economy. This one will continue well into 2021.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in the Netherlands, the government has implemented two emergency support packages for businesses, as well as support for self-employed people. Businesses have been able to take advantage of the NOW packages, as they are called, if they had lost at least 20% of their turnover, entitling them to 90% of their usual wage bill.
Now, as the coronavirus crisis appears not to be going anywhere, the government has decided to give businesses more certainty about what they can expect over the coming year. The package will come into effect on October 1, and will offer less support to fewer companies, sources in The Hague tell AD. Apparently, the cabinet is close to agreeing the final details of the plan.
Firstly, only companies which have lost 30% of their regular turnover will be eligible for support. Secondly, the plan is to reduce the percentage of the wage bill that the government supports– dropping it first to 80%, then to 70%, and then to 60%. In effect, this will allow companies to lay off staff. In previous NOW packages, companies risked a fine if they laid off staff. This clause will be removed from the long-term support package the cabinet is proposing.
The temporary bridging scheme for self-employed persons (Tozo) will still be in effect– this applies to self-employed people who are earning less than the social assistance level due to corona. Businesses will also still be eligible for the Allowance Fixed Costs (TVL) package if they are not making enough money to pay their fixed costs, though there will be some changes to this package to prevent fraud.
What do you think of this support package? Is it enough to keep the economy going? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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